5 Tips For Managing Freelance Writers

Freelance Writers

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With so many companies beginning to market themselves through Internet blogging, the job market for freelance writers is expanding. Rather than hiring full-time staff bloggers, most companies are discovering that they are able to stay more cost efficient and draw from a bigger pool when they employ freelance bloggers on an as-needed basis.

Managing a pool of freelance bloggers can be a challenge, however, due to the simple fact that not all the employees will be on site or even accessible during regular work hours. Keeping this in mind, here are five tips for both finding and managing freelance bloggers:

Managing Freelance Writers

1. Post Ads For Freelance Writers On Well-Known Job Sites

A Google search will locate several different freelance writing sites. Request at least three different writing samples, and be prepared to give a sample assignment to see how quickly a writer can come back with work and how well they write under pressure. Freelance writers can even be obtained by posting ads under the “writing” section of Craigslist. As long as you are getting resumes and samples of their work, and reserve the right to pass on a writer you suspect will be unable to meet your requirements, you can’t really go wrong.

2. Ask The Right Questions

Before hiring a freelance blogger, make sure you ask the right questions, ensuring your future employee will be a help, and not a harm, to your business. Find out what types of posts they specialize in, what they consider the proper format for a blog and what audiences they enjoy writing for, along with anything else that might be pertinent to your particular blog needs.

3. Assign Writers Tasks Based On Experience & Preferences

Once you’ve asked the right questions, assign each writer blog posts according to both the experiences they’ve had and the preferences they’ve expressed when it comes to writing. If they haven’t expressed a preference, pay attention to their writing samples to pick up on their style. If a writer prefers to write blog posts for teenagers entering into adolescence or writes in fun, quirky language, you will most likely not want to assign them blog posts on policy or technological advances.

4. Gauge The Efficiency Of Each Writer To Determine The Volume Of Work They Can Handle.

Once the writer you have hired begins to turn in assignments, observe how long it takes them to turn in assignments, if they ever miss a deadline and how long it takes to edit their work to make it ready for publication. With this knowledge, you can then decide if this blogger can handle picking up the slack on articles that are not written on time by other bloggers or can deal with a shorter turnaround. If it takes quite a bit of editing to ready their work for publication, you may also find yourself setting earlier deadlines for their assignments.

5. Communicate With Your Writers & Provide Support, Feedback & Instructions.

Any instruction or feedback you provide will actually help the freelance blogger you’ve hired to tighten their work, improve their writing and meet their deadlines more efficiently. Letting a writer know, for example, that they can omit certain formatting styles (such as numbering or indenting) will save time for both the writer and the editor.

When hiring freelance bloggers, understand that there will be a large pool of never-before-paid writers looking to break into paid work. By paying on time, being consistent with assignments, providing a fair amount of time to complete an assignment and taking the five tips above to heart, you will guarantee that you find writers who are dependable and ready to work.

About Joshua John

Joshua is the digital strategist for MBA@UNC and MPA at UNC, the University of North Carolina’s online mba and online mba degree. He is an avid health enthusiast, who enjoys spinning, hiking, and yoga. He also loves gadgets, movies, and all things Batman. You can learn more by following him on Twitter or Google+.

  • Hi Allison! You’re right, good writers are worth their weight in gold! I know from experience here on the site that finding good quality writers is a rare thing, so you should reward them when they do appear.

    I can understand you saying that writers shouldn’t need to do a free sample, but in some instances it can help. Of course you wouldn’t ask for a free sample meal in a restaurant, but that isn’t the same as getting hired. I know many bloggers/companies that wouldn’t even consider hiring a professional writer without knowing whether they can do the job that they are applying for. Yes, you can supply previous work as examples, but it’s not just about the quality of writing, it is about getting your work in to a deadline. This is where providing a free sample may be beneficial.

    I do think professional writers should be paid more though. I think us freelance writers get treated a bit unfairly at times by certain publishers.

    Thanks for your comment Allison 🙂